4 to be interviewed for police chief

Select Board widens pool to include two new candidates for the position

Ridnge resident Pat Martin listens Wednesday as the Select Board discussed its plans to interview candidates for the new Police Chief this week.

Ridnge resident Pat Martin listens Wednesday as the Select Board discussed its plans to interview candidates for the new Police Chief this week. Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

RINDGE — Members of the Rindge Select Board expect to interview candidates to fill the empty chief of police position today. They will be choosing from among four final candidates.

At its regular meeting Wednesday, the board announced that among the final candidates, two were selected during a search done by Municipal Resources, Inc. — a company that provides professional, technical and managerial support services to towns — contracted by the town to provide a police manager to run the Police Department in the absence of retired chief Frank Morrill, and to conduct a search for a replacement chief. MRI presented the board with four candidates from this search, but two eventually withdrew from consideration. MRI then went back to seek out an additional two candidates for consideration in Rindge.

Town Administrator Jane Pitt said in an interview Monday that the additional two candidates were not among the pool of candidates originally considered, but are likely from recent searches for other positions done by MRI.

At least one of the final four candidates is local, according to Select Board Chair Roberta Oeser, though she declined to name any of the candidates involved until an offer has been made.

Pitt said Monday the board will be meeting with all four candidates this afternoon to conduct interviews. There may be a need for a second round of interviews following that, and the board will announce its selection after it has had the opportunity to deliberate and notify both the selected candidate and those that did not make the cut, according to Pitt.

During Monday’s meeting resident Evie Goodspeed told the board she was concerned that there would be preference given to the local candidate, and the fact that there was a local candidate involved might put off other qualified candidates.

Resident Pat Martin noted that when Morrill, who had been a member of the department prior to his hiring as chief, had been selected through a similar MRI search, he told the board after his hiring that going through the process had been affirming. Having been found to be the right candidate after a competitive search meant that he truly was the right man for the job, said Martin.

One resident questioned why MRI had included new candidates, instead of going deeper into the pool of candidates it had already considered in its original search.

Select Board member Bob Hamilton noted that he did see validity in that argument, considering there had been a deadline for consideration during the first search, and the new candidates being considered had not submitted in time for that deadline, where other, already disregarded, candidates had. The board decided to still move forward with their intent to interview the four candidates.

The Select Board will meet next on Aug. 6 at 6 p.m. in the town offices.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ex. 244, or asaari@ledgertranscript.com.

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